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China's rail freight volume rises to 21-month high

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-07 17:16

BEIJING - China's rail freight volume, an indicator of economic activity, rose for a third straight month in October, China Railway Corporation said on Monday.

Rail freight volume increased 8.4 percent year on year to reach 244 million tons last month, the highest level since February 2015. During the first ten months of the year, volume fell 4.8 percent year on year.

The corporation attributed October's rise to a stabilizing economy and improved commodity markets.

China's economy grew 6.7 percent in the third quarter, holding steady with the second quarter and within the annual target range.

The second half of the year is a traditionally peak season for rail transport. With steel prices and other commodity prices recovering, demand has risen since July.

Rail freight has been floundering since March 2013 partly due to a slowing economy, and the situation worsened at the start of 2015. Volume slipped as much as 12.3 percent in February this year.

Rail freight volume posted year-on-year growth for the first time in August, after falling for 32 consecutive months.

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